In all areas of MMA fitness, a strong core is absolutely essential. The core consists of the abs, obliques, stabilizers, and lower back. All punches, kicks, and grappling comes from the foundation of having a strong core. Also, should you have to take any punches and kicks to the body, some abs of steel can’t hurt. A shredded six pack on top of all that is just an added perk.
Here are three of the best ways to strengthen your core for mma (notice there are no crunches, they’ll do you no good in the cage).
1. Planks - These help condition your overall core endurance, which is essential for bjj and wrestling as well as in the clinch and up against the cage. There are many variations of the plank and they can be done from multiple angles. Planks train you to keep your core engaged during other lifts and exercises.
3. Good Mornings- This is perhaps the most underused core strengthening exercise on the planet. It’s a shame that it is also one of the best. Not only does this exercise build an iron core, but it builds powerful hips, hamstrings, and glutes, while increasing flexibility. It amazes me how I rarely see anyone doing this exercise.
A solid core workout should be in circuits that accumulate into 3-5 rounds. A fight is in rounds so it is most effective to train this way. Also for those looking to shed fat, training at high intensity in rounds is the best way to elevate your metabolism to burn fat throughout not only the workout, but the rest of the day as well.
One minute of every exercise will give adequate time to develop the muscle group and is plenty of time to improve cardio. If you can’t breathe you can’t fight. Another benefit of core training is the improvement of all other aspects of training including your weight lifts. The core is often the weak point in a heavy squat, deadlift, or bench press. A powerful lift can add to all around power in your strikes and take-downs.
Action step of the day: Killer Core Circuit
Complete this circuit 3-5 times and you’re well on your way to a set of GSP abs. Vary the speed in every circuit: start very slow to work technique then comfortably and gradually increase towards fast and explosive. Complete this circuit once a week for the next 4 weeks.
Train hard brothers and sisters